When Christians Are Christianity’s Worst Enemy

In his book Torn Justin Lee argues that we Christians have often become our own worst enemies. In many communities, our reputation is that of uncompassionate culture warriors, quick to shout about gays or abortion or political candidates, but slow to show grace and mercy in our everyday lives. And these acts of ungrace by Christians have far more power to damage Christianity’s reputation and influence than any attack launched at the church from the outside.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-lee/are-christians-christianitys-worst-enemies_b_2586339.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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14 thoughts on “When Christians Are Christianity’s Worst Enemy

  1. I loved Torn. It did a lot to change my perspective. It also gave me the best way to explain that homosexuality is not a sin or a choice.

    I think what is hard about homosexuality for the church is that they view it as a “perversion” and equal to things like pedophilia and bestiality. I imagine if I really thought those things that it would be hard for me to not let that show through in how I behaved towards others.

    But I agree that we are our own worst enemy more times than not.

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  2. ?? In terms of ‘perversion’ (from the norm), how DOES homosexuality differ from paedophilia and bestiality?

    That’s not to say moralistic judgmentalism is necessarily justifiable. (particularly from the people who generally do that sort of thing. 😉 )

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    • The main way it differs is in consent. It is a perversion to have sex with someone without their consent. We do not consider children to be able to comprehend the ramifications of consent and thus say that they are unable to give it. Animals can not consent do to lack of language. So consent alone makes it different.

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      • Good point.
        But there are some fine lines there, and I’m not sure it covers all permutations.

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      • In adult relationships if there is no consent then it is rape and that is also a perversion. What permutations do you feel consent does not cover?

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      • So if there is consent, then it’s also okay to be urinated and defecated on? Sadomasochism is just fine too? What about the anal plugs that homosexuals like to use and auto-erotic asphyxiation trend? Then there are people who fall in love with inanimate objects and have sex with them including the Eiffel Tower and cars and of course sex dolls and dildos…..and the list goes of sexual perversions goes on.

        Nowhere in the Word of God does it say that ‘consensual’ same-sex is not a perversion. On the contrary, the Word of God overwhelmingly says that it is sin.

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      • I’m sorry Monica but I disagree. Consensual homosexual sex is not at all like the behavior being discussed in the bible which was done in worship to pagan gods in temple sex.

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      • Also, can you tell me where the bible condemns any of the above listed perversions? Just because something is gross to you does not mean it is inherently sinful.

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      • Hi chialphagirl,

        I am convinced that God’s Word absolutely condemns same sex and other perversions based on many scriptures, but in particular:

        1 Corinthians 6:19-20
        The Message (MSG)

        16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two (male & female) become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

        And love—what does that really mean? Does it mean sex?

        God bless

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      • The message? This paraphrase is what you are using to back up your point? Do you know the context of this passage in the original cultural? Or the Greek language context of it? Because the message paraphrase is not true to either. And again Paul is addressing specific subset of people who were familiar with the original intent.

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    • I don’t have a lot of time for detail (trying to prepare a legal brief), but some of the major ‘permutations’ revolve aound:-

      1.. Terminology and definition ~ eg. What is an ‘adult’ and who says so?…and what, precisely do YOU mean by ‘relationship’. (and is your’s a subjective or objective view?)
      Socio-legal mores play a large part. It wasn’t that long ago ~ even in ‘progressive’ (compared to what?) cultures (I hesitate to say ‘like Australia! 🙂 ) that a married woman was legally and socially ~ and even in her own view proudly so ~ the property of her husband and had a “duty” to accommodate his desires. (Lie back and think of England). They may not have been asked for their consent/signed contract, but consent was implicit. In any case, ignorance of sexual matters was considered desirable, and so ‘informed consent’ would’ve been, strictly speaking, most rare.
      Are we now to think all those generations of women we, permanently and persistently, rape victims and ~ according to your view ~ perverts?

      2.. I’m from the generation when ‘NO!’ did, in reality, often mean ‘YES!’. It was as much a part of the ritual as buying a sheila dinner meant ~ and was accepted by her as meaning ~ pre-agreed consent. That’s to say (dare I?) that a woman could eat her cake (steak/pasta and meatballs/whatever) and have it too.
      ….and in my experience enjoy it more. Wicked sex is the best sex (ask Eve!); and to this day a married woman in an ‘affair’ gets much more of everything than she ever gets at home.
      (It also meant that the ‘obligation’ remained even if she changed her mind halfway through dinner; these days she can -legally anyway – change her mind halfway through the ‘consensual’ act. At what point does the ‘perversion’ start and end?

      I think the point I’ve deviated from is that our instincts play a huge role in the whole theatre of ‘sexual relationships’ and (if we’re lucky/doing it right) we get so carried away that the question of ‘consent’ (or condoms!) never arises. Does someone in that situation ask or give consent?
      If not, does the act constitute ‘rape’ (morally and/or legally) and hence ‘perversion’? Ditto the teenaged Groupie who manages to get backstage and gangbanged by the pop-group and next day decides she didn’t give consent….mainly because she only had the hots for a couple of members of the group? Rape – Perversion?

      …or the case of one of my best-ever ~ long dead ~ friends (a fervent feminist who ran a women’s refuge, killed a man in the cause and used to entertain/get pissed with Germie etal) who decided to prove her gender’s sexual superiority by taking on the entire local football team. Plus the coach. (She’d just read about Messalina’s exploits* and reckoned she could do better.)
      And she did! (Had a gre-e-a-a-t! personal trainer!). ‘Fornicated’ them to a standstill (in every known variation of the term) over about 20 hours, and never once was the question of consent raised or demanded.
      ‘Rape’?? ‘Perversion’?? ….Could certainly be seen as ‘bestiality’ by some of our more prim-and-proper religious friends. But ‘bestial perversion’?

      (You can chime in any time you like here Mon ! 😯

      3…..and just before I MUST go and do other things, how about the female who ‘does it’ for the reward ~ from the raddled old hooker who does it because she HAS to, financially,….down to the rosy-cheeked four-year-old who plays her old man like a violin for a chocolate ~ or just for the practice? Consent? Perversion?

      I see on the news the other day where some woman who’d auctioned her virginity on e-bay a few years ago was selling it again.
      Dunno about consent/perversion though;
      …sounds more like a miracle. 😉

      *http://www.wordwebonline.com/search.pl?ww=7&w=Messalina

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